While he has notoriously told Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa “I must break you,” as Russian death-puncher Ivan Drago, Dolph Lundgren has no intentions to break the foundation of Stallone’s franchise.
During the weekend, Stallone ranted his heart out on Rocky showrunner Irwin Winkler – and his kids – for an alleged Creed II spin-off focusing on the Drago family.
“I never wanted ROCKY characters to be exploited by these parasites,” Stallone wrote in a now-deleted Instagram post.
Creed was a Rocky spin-off, in which Michael B. Jordan portrays Adonis “Donnie” Creed, Apollo Creed’s (Carl Weathers) son, who died in the ring from being beaten by Drago in Rocky IV.
In Creed II, Lundgren returned as his now-dishonored Ivan Drago, coaching his son Viktor (Florian Munteanu) to defeat yet another Creed with Stallone as the old Balboa attempting to retrace the Adonis’ path away from his father’s.
It has not been made clear whether Lundgren or Munteanu would reprise their roles in Drago, but reports have associated Lundgren with the spin-off.
Stallone Has No Ill Will Towards Lundgren
Stallone made clear that he had no ill will towards Lundgren, but he wished that the actor had informed him of the development.
“By the way, I have nothing but respect for Dolph but I wish HE had told me what was going on behind my back,” Stallone wrote. “Keep your REAL friends close.”
Lundgren posted on Instagram to “set the record straight about Drago, which is unclear whether it will see the light of day.
“Just to set the record straight regarding a possible Drago spinoff. There’s no approved script, no deals in place, no director, and I was personally under the impression that my friend Sly Stallone was involved as a producer or even as an actor,” Lundgren said.
“There was a press leak last week which was unfortunate. In touch with Mr. Balboa – just so all the fans can relax… There ya go.”
Stallone Openly Expresses What He Wants for the Franchise
Stallone has openly expressed his desire to have control over the franchise because he does not possess the rights to the character he so made when he was still finding a breakthrough in Hollywood.
Earlier this month, he urged Winkler to hand him what was left of the rights.
“After IRWIN controlling ROCKY for over 47 years, and now CREED, I really would like [to] have at least a little [of] WHAT’s LEFT of my RIGHTS back, before passing it on to ONLY YOUR CHILDREN,” Stallone said.
“I believe That would be a FAIR gesture from this 93 year old gentleman?”
Winkler, though, is 91. He bagged an Oscar for Best Picture award for producing Rocky, the original, and has been helming the production of the franchise’s movies.
Nonetheless, Stallone and Jordan will return in Creed III, dropping on March 3 of the following year.
Regarding Drago, Ivan and Viktor seem to need a buddy road trip comedy to maybe work on their need to break people and perhaps make headway into each other’s hearts.